Muraho! (That’s hello in Kinyarwanda!)
In 2005, I attended an alumni event at UCLA where a woman was given an award for a lifetime of service. In addition to a wide variety of local volunteering, she had been on multiple tours with the Peace Corps throughout her life. I was inspired.
I have always believed in volunteering. We are a people who need to come together, to help one another, and to love. There is no greater way to show love than to stand alongside someone and offer a helping hand. Wherever we are, whatever our financial resources, however busy our schedule – there is something we can be doing to help others. It may be within your own family or circle of friends, it may be at a local soup kitchen or mentoring a child, or it may be traveling to another part of the world to share your skills and bridge a cultural divide. There is no better or worse way to serve. Find what you can do and just start.
September 11, 2012 marked the beginning of a new type of service for me. Beyond local, I went global, as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Rwanda. I served for three years, teaching English as a Foreign Language [TEFL] to secondary level (high school) students and training teachers in learner centered methodology, in addition to many other opportunities I had to be a partner in the development of Rwanda.
The title of this blog, Detour Scenery, and the accompanying quote:
A truly happy person is one who
can enjoy the scenery on a detour
are my anthem in life. As much as I make plans for the next 5 years, or even the next day, being truly happy means finding joy even when my plans get waylaid. Sometimes changes, as hard as they may be at the time, end up being for the best. They introduce us to new friends, develop new skills, or show us that our original plan wasn’t what we should doing all along! My goal in the Peace Corps was to be flexible as I adapted to a new job and culture, to be open to meeting new family and friends, and to always find joy even when nothing goes as I plan!
This blog served as a place for me to share the personal adventures, and challenges, I had during my service, which officially ended December 2015. That marked the end (or perhaps pause) in this blog but it didn’t mark the end of my time in Rwanda. Thanks to my Peace Corps service, and prior experience, I was able to continue working in the education sector in Rwanda, supporting a nationwide curriculum reform in basic education.
I hope you enjoy reading the snippets of my life and learning from Rwanda and hope you all can join me in being truly happy wherever life may lead!
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.